Monday, October 20, 2008

I am slowly emerging.

Exhaustion? Yes. It's here.

Culture stress? Yes. Even after 13 years, the subtle nuances and stark contrasts of our culture of origin and the culture we reside in can overpower and fatigue.

Broken hearts over goodbyes?

Joy of hellos?

It all intermingles into something called "Re-entry".

We most often use the term to refer to returning to our original home. But I also think it applies to "re-entering" the third world we reside in for this season of life.

We step from the carpeted passageways of American airports with Starbucks in hand and within 24 hours step out into an entirely different world. No carpet. No Starbucks. But a whole lot of reality.

We have had limited power and very, very weak internet since our return. Our home was overcome with mildew, dust and mold requiring the laundring of every single thing in closets and every piece of linen.
CD and DVD cases that were stored inside wood cupboards were covered with a layer of green mold. Dishes and utensils also had to be scrubbed to remove the layer of mold taking residence on their exterior.
Cobwebs, grime, dust, and the bold scent of mildew permeates the place we need as a haven.

And so I dive in. With rubber gloves. Bleach. White vinegar. Pledge. And my vacuum cleaner (when the power is on). I sweep, mop, dust and clean.

I retire old curtains. Buy new mattresses. Wash and wash and wash sheets and blankets and towels...

Downpouring rains and stifled power supply try to thwart my efforts to reclaim our home...but I labor on.

In the midst of it all...we have to eat. And Taco Bell is VERY FAR AWAY.

My dear teammate and our loving missionary community kept our tummies filled for a full week which saved us all. We've picked up meals on our own now and I'm reminded of how much time must be spent on our food each day in order to have meals and snacks for my children's cavernous tummies.

School must begin. Bags must be unpacked. Ministry demands our constant energy and attention.

And here sits the computer. My link to you.

As always, I have much to share.

Even from furlough...there remains much to say.

And as we have been thrown headlong back into the fray here, I have many thoughts.

Much grace from God to share with you.

But getting all this technology to work takes hours sometimes.
(I am noticing even now that our internet is off before I've published.) And I often cannot take the time to tackle this mountain of technological obstacles in order to publish the thoughts bouncing around in my brain.

Nonetheless, I am emerging. From the goodbyes. From the pain. From the warmth of good memories. From the fog of jet lag. From the life lessons. From the scent of mildew. (smile) From the reality of rotten technology.

Emerging a woman with a clearer understanding of my deep need for Jehovah God.

A daughter who more deeply trusts the Faithful Father who Never Quits.

A warrior wounded yet refined from fiery battle.

I am emerging to continue on.

And do the next thing.

I'm back friends.

And we have so much to talk about!


Brian said...

My dear friend! We have been wondering, and now we will pray more. For you, and for your work, and your mountain of laundry. A wise woman once told us: "There is no mountain for a stepper!" :-)
One step at a time, my friend, one step at a time...
We love you. Kristin

Dawnette said...

Welcome Home!

Trisha said...

So good to see you back here. I've missed you. In a funny, ironic kind of way, you have been my link to the world the last few weeks! My computer crashed and with it all my saved favorite blogs, including my own. I found yours and so I go there and link my way to many places that encourage me and make me laugh. I'm sorry your technology isn't cooperating. I'm glad it still lets me hear from you now and then!

We're holding your arms up in the battle, my friend. Wish I could help lighten your loads and loads!

phyllis said...

Daughter-in-law, we've missed you and yours since you departed the Northwest for Texas. Somehow we miss you even more when we know you struggle with electricity and technology--and cannot reach out to those who love you. Jeff mentioned on the phone that you spent hours and hours trying to get one blog sent.
What a situation to come home to, but we know you are more than up to the challenge. Hang in there.
We love you.

Brian Pannell said...

welcome are covered in prayers. We love you and wish we could help you scrub

Kimberly said...

Oh Cheryl, I'm so sorry! That sounds awful! :( I wish I lived closer; I would come bleach away all that nastiness with you. Love you!

Cathy said...

Cheryl, you are a blessing to me, especially when I learn about the trials you keep overcoming. I hold onto the truth that God is and will continue to be faithful. I could almost smell the mold when you wrote about it. Have you ever thought about writing a book in your spare time? (that really was said tongue in cheek) All these blogs would make a great book. hmmmm, ideas going round in my crafty head. If nothing else, you can stop for a minute and look at your family and smile and love. I miss you and know that things will get better. As always, you and the family are in my continued prayers.

KMiV said...

I always enjoy reading your posts. This one is touching as well as educational. I think every missionary and potential missionary should read this.

We continue to keep you all in prayer every Thursday.


Jill Moudy said...

OH, how I understand. May the sting of these hindrances and inconveniences lessen for you this week. OH, how I remember. Thank you for being faithful to what God has called you to. Love you, Jill

Matt Tibbles said...

I look forward to catching up. God be with you always. Pray for us here.

Jennifer said...

Oh Cheryl! Sounds like so much exhausting work... I wish that I could be there to help, somehow!
It also sounds (not surprisingly) like your attitude and energy are focused where they will be most fruitful. As always, you are in my prayers!